i’m not quite sure how to approach a review of this film. i probably should set aside my fervent, passionate love for adam brody and his subtle, cynical comedic timing/honest, approachable acting/body. i actually did that once before; i thought he was poorly cast in the ten, a rather unimpressive attempt from the usually stellar david wain. but i digress. while brody is always fantastic in his typecast role, and while i’d never get tired of seeing seth cohen for the rest of my life, perhaps i’m being too stubborn. maybe it’s believable that carter webb (brody) really does write soft-core porn and really does smoke. whatever. actually, that’s pretty irrelevant. there were weaker aspects of the film. the trailer, for starters, is completely misleading. SPOILER WARNING, GUYS. carter does not end up with either of the chicks in the film. and he shouldn’t. the romance strings, frankly, were really creepy. he kissed a mother and a daughter. that’s creepy. that also makes for some fun family dynamics, the likes of which were not explored cinematically. and it was never really resolved. and then the cancer thing, and the affair thing…carter is just drama drama drama. (please read that with a fran drescher voice, i assure you it will be a more convincing statement). michigan does NOT look like how it was portrayed: people (at least in flint and saginaw) do not landscape like that. it never rains like that. it’s either snowing or it’s humid as hell, no exceptions. and everyone has an accent. also, to be blunt and rhetorically flourishless, the ending sucked. ginnifer goodwin, an accomplished actress in her own right, gets a shitty, throwaway role.but here’s what got me about the film:
- makenzie vega. when a 13-year-old kid can develop a character like that, she must have something going on.
- olympia dukakis. brilliant, senile, unflinching. and there’s a scene during which she wears no pants.
- meg ryan. surprisingly real. although for the first thirty minutes i thought she was melanie griffith. they both must go to the same plastic surgeon (kinda like the jacksons?).
- the dialogue that ensues between brody and the three previous women.
- the staggering reality of cancer. for some reason, the portrayal of that thread really got to me.
there you have it. take my feeble notes in stride, and be glad you didn’t see this one on the big screen.